People in the south west and east of England are being urged to pay attention to possible signs of bowel cancer, the third most common type of the disease in the UK.
Around 40,000 new cases of bowel cancer are recorded every year, killing an 16,000 people.
The risk of developing the disease can be reduced if people eat healthily, exercise and take a low dose of aspirin every day.
A new Government campaign to reduce the incidence of bowel cancer, costing just over £10 million, is being backed by adverts in the press featuring doctors talking to patients about changes to their stools.
The awareness drive will also talk about breast and lung cancer.
According to the Government, around 10,000 people will be spared death if UK cancer rates became more in line with that of European countries.
At least 90% of people diagnosed with bowel cancer in the earliest stage survive for at least five years compared with 6.6% of those diagnosed at the late stage.
Health minister Paul Burstow said: “The Be Clear On Cancer campaign uses simple messages to make people aware of the early signs of bowel cancer and to give them the confidence to talk to their GP about them.”
Copyright © Press Association 2011